DEL MAR, Calif.—Del Mar’s leading rider, Juan Hernandez, found room on the rail for his mount Carmelita’s Man and forged a gutty win by a head in a blanket finish in Saturday’s $152,500 California Dreamin’ Stakes Saturday afternoon at Del Mar.
The score, Hernandez’s fifth stakes victory on Day 10 of the seaside meet, was worth $85,500 to owners Larry or Ann Jett for their 5-year-old gelding by Mucho Macho Man who is trained by Dean Pederson. Finishing second in the California-bred affair was Mr.-Mrs. T.A. Shapiro’s Bang for Your Buck, who had a nose on Sondereker Racing, Felkin, et al’s The Chosen Vron.
“He’s the kind of horse you can do whatever you want with him. I know this horse; I trust him a lot. I knew I had the horse, and I was just waiting for some room to come through. They opened, then we come through and we win the race. He’s a real professional horse,” remarked Hernandez.
The winner ran the mile and one-sixteenth on turf in 1:41.64.
Carmelita’s Man, who went favored in the wide-open field of 11 at $3.30 to 1, paid $8.60, $4.60 and $3.00 across the board. Bang for Your Buck returned $17.80 and $8.40, while The Chosen Vron paid $4.20 to show.
The winner increased his bankroll to $362,038 with his sixth win in his 16th start. He’d won the Crystal Water Stakes for Cal-breds at Santa Anita on May 28 in his previous start.
“Until they put the numbers up, I was hoping for the best. Horse has been very honest and very consistent. We’ve spotted him well; it’s a pleasure to win these kind of races,” commented Pederson.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Pederson, but his first in the California Dreamin’. He now has two stakes wins at Del Mar.
In the track’s bulging Pick Six pool, which had not been hit since the start of the meet and was under a “mandatory” payout protocol, “new” money amounting to $3,907,466 came into the kitty and was added to the $608,414 carryover, meaning there was a total pool of $4,515,861.
There were 543 tickets with all six winners and each of those paid $6,615.
Racing will resume at Del Mar Sunday with a first post of 2 p.m. for the 11-race card.
DMTC Press Release
Photo by Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire